COSSA’S PRIORITY BILLS
- Sets a limit on the aggregate of all charges or other related or associated fees any governmental body may impose or assess to install a solar energy system of $500 for a residential ministerial permit and $1,000 for a commercial ministerial permit.
- Includes energy storage installed at the same time as solar as one system, so only one permit is needed.
- In the case of a nonresidential application, on an individual installation basis only, if the governmental body incurs actual costs for issuing the permit that are greater than $1,000, the governmental body is entitled to recovery of its actual costs for issuing the permit by submitting in writing and disclosing to the applicant for the particular permit proof of the governmental body’s actual costs.
- Applies to Xcel and Black Hills only
- Updated net metering
- Allows systems size of 200% of “reasonably expected load”
- Allows “credit bank” of 100% of “reasonably expected load”
- Creates limited off-site generation with net metering credits
- Customers receive full retail credit minus delivery fee
- One account owner – owned or leased both properties and both properties must be within the utility service territory
- Subject to annual capacity limits: 0.25 % of retail sales in early years; later years per market demand.
- Subject to system size limits: 300 kW for multi-meter; 500 kW for single meter
- Outlaws individual solar/net metering rate class
- Raises standard offer to 1 MW
- Adds to eligible energy resources definition
- Defines “renewable energy storage” – energy storage system that stores energy produced only by renewable energy resources
- RESA eligible
- Requires the PUC to create programs to deploy “renewable energy storage”
- Requires Xcel and Black Hills to create interconnection rules for meter collars by Q2 2022
- Requires the Commission to adopt rules for Multi-Meter Operator (i.e. apartments or office buildings) that will solve the split incentives problem
- Requires the Commission to adopt rules to accommodate the aggregation and interconnection of solar and energy storage under a master meter or similar arrangement and the allocation of credits among customers on different rate schedules.
- Adds specificity to the requirement that HOAs allow installation of renewable energy generation devices (e.g., solar panels) subject to reasonable aesthetic guidelines by requiring approval or denial of a completed application within 60 days and requiring approval if imposition of the aesthetic guidelines would result in more than a 10% reduction in efficiency or a 10% increase in price.
- Adds criteria to PUC approval for transmission projects: achieves emission reductions, facilitates participation in an organized wholesale market
- Requires utilities with transmission facilities to join an organized wholesale market by 2030
- Creates the Colorado Electric Transmission Authority with the power to:
- establish transmission corridors within the state
- work with other entities to establish interstate transmission corridors
- engage in other transmission planning activities that would increase grid reliability, help Colo meet its clean energy goals, aid in economic development
- select a transmission operator to carry out the purposes of CETA
- make a determination about the efficient use of existing ROW
- consider options and alternatives, including storage and advanced transmission technologies
- do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out its purposes and exercise its powers
- Grants existing transmission utilities first right of refusal on any transmission project
- Expands broadband co-location to cooperatives
- Identifies the criteria on which judges make right-of-way determinations
- Bill ensures that clean energy resources and energy storage systems used to store electricity are assessed for valuation for the purpose of property taxation in a similar manner to renewable energy facility property used to generate and deliver electricity.
- It extends the “tax factor” period to 30 years for a renewable energy facility that begins generating energy on or after January 1, 2021.
- Also the tax administrator is required to utilize the income approach for solar energy facilities that generate 2 megawatts or less, so that similar facilities will be valued in the same manner.
- Raises the cap on annual fees collected from regulated public utilities from 0.25% to 0.45%.
- Requires the commission, in approving a resource plan, to include the social cost of carbon dioxide with regard to a portfolio’s net present value of revenue requirements.
- Requires the Commission to prioritize renewable energy investment and programs for low-income customers and disproportionately impacted communities by ensuring that not less than 40% of the RESA funds not already set aside to recover the cost of clean energy resources be spent on programs, incentives or other direct investments benefitting low-income customers and disproportionately impacted communities.
- Requires intervenors to disclose financial relationships with regulated utilities.
- Requires the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) mental justice inequities.
- Allows the AQCC to track and enforce emissions reductions in the oil and gas, electric-utility, and industrial and manufacturing sectors.
- Creates an environmental justice ombudsman position to field complaints related to pollution impacts on vulnerable communities.
- Enforce the following greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals by 2030:
- Requires an 80% reduction by every electric utility that is not already required to file a plan to reduce emissions. Only Xcel Energy is currently required to file an emissions-reduction plan.
- Requires a 60% reduction by the oil and gas industry
- Requires a 20% reduction by the industrial and manufacturing sectors
GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION
- Creates a requirement for demand-side management (DSM) programs of natural gas public utilities. (This is a big win for solar thermal customers and installers)
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING
- Creates the strengthening photovoltaic and renewable careers (SPARC) workforce development program in the department of labor and employment (department). The purpose of the SPARC program is to create capacity for and bolster training, apprenticeship, and education programs in the energy sector career pathway to increase employment in the energy sector, prioritizing in-demand and growing occupations in the energy sector.
- Appropriates $25 million for the program and directs the state council to use the money to support individuals in need of:
- Reskilling, which supports unemployed and underemployed workers to change industries in order to return to work or obtain more appropriate work based on their skills;
- Upskilling, which assists workers in increasing skill levels to retain or advance in their employment; or
- Next-skilling, which supports workers in developing future-ready skills necessary for employment in the twenty-first century.
- Creates the state apprenticeship agency in the Department of Labor and Employment as a type 1 agency. The executive director of the department is required to appoint a director of the SAA (director). The purpose of the SAA is to:
- Serve as the primary point of contact with the United States department of labor’s office of apprenticeship concerning apprentices and registered apprenticeship programs; and
- Oversee apprenticeship programs, including registration, required standards for registration, quality assurance, the promotion of apprenticeships, and the provision of technical assistance.
- Grants $30 million to the Colorado Clean Energy Fund (i.e.Colorado’s green bank)
- Increases the amounts available through residential energy upgrade loans by up to $2 million; Provides up to $5 million in additional funding to the charge ahead Colorado program administered by the CEO.
- Transfers $5 million from the general fund for the purpose of funding grants to local governments for renewable and clean energy infrastructure implementation projects.
- Transfer of $3 million from the general fund to augment the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s ongoing advancing Colorado’s renewable energy and energy efficiency (ACRE 3 ) program.
- For purposes of RESA funds, allows any pumped hydroelectric facility under 15 megawatts that:
- Does not combust fossil fuel to pump water;
- Is not located on a natural waterway;
- Includes measures to prevent fish mortality in the facility;
- Does not impact any decreed in-stream flow; and
- Does not cause any violation of state water quality standards when operated.
- Multiple updates to wholesale and distribution cooperatives governance and elections
- Measures to improve energy efficiency, and, in connection therewith, requiring owners of large buildings to collect and report on energy-use benchmarking data and comply with rules regarding performance standards related to energy and greenhouse gas emissions and modifies statutory requirements regarding energy performance contracts.
- An investor-owned utility seeking to implement an innovative energy technology project may apply to the public utilities commission to acquire resources that demonstrate the use of zero-emission resources and other innovative energy technologies such as advanced renewable energy and storage.